Chihuahua's cattle industry and a decade of drought: Economical and ecological implications

Carlos Ortega-Ochoa, Carlos Villalobos, Javier Martínez-Nevárez, Carlton M. Britton, Ronald E. Sosebee

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

13 Scopus citations


The state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico covers 247,200km2 that can be divided into three well-defined geographic areas, making the largest state in Mexico. In this state, land organization is based on private ranches and community owned lands. Cattle along with mining and forestry are the foundation of the state's economy. Most cattle in Chihuahua are produced on native rangelands that are totally dependent on rainfall. However, due to geographic position, drought in Chihuahua is common. Thus, ecological impact of drought and livestock mismanagement on Chihuahua's rangelands was severe. The long-term effect of this degradation are likely to persist caused by soil degradation. Therefore, a better understanding of native plant growth and responses to drought and grazing are necessary in allowing range management professionals, land managers, and ranchers to adequately respond to drought. Additionally, economic conditions and structure of the beef industry need to be redesigned in a way that allows beef cattle produces in responding to the vagaries of weather and climate.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationRangelands
StatePublished - 2008


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